Finally, at the end of our third week, Raelyn and I were getting the hang of our work. We each came up with some great ideas that will need to be implemented within the next week!
After Raelyn’s interviews, she decided to make plastic mattress covers for the infant beds. We were able to salvage a nice crusty piece of mattress cover from storage that we can hopefully clean and tailor into zip-able covers. We’re also thinking about making dust covers for some oxygen concentrators. These ideas will definitely help to maintain the equipment and keep them clean!
On another note, in Tanzania, the power is 230 Volts, but many pieces of equipment are donated and require 110-120 Volts. We’ve noticed a few examples of damaged equipment resulting from incorrect input voltages. So we made small guides to place near outlets to direct staff about checking equipment and utilizing transformers. We hope to give the staff a presentation about it next week.
After my own interviews, it came to my attention that the female ward lacks an X-Ray film reader, which is literally just a big light with which to read X-Rays. While in our workshop, I noticed our abandoned bili lights. Bili Lights are a type of phototherapy device used for babies with jaundice (I was actually a jaundice baby!). They provide UV light to break down bilirubin, and require specific blue UV bulbs. The current bulbs installed are just regular halogen bulbs, and replacing them would be an impractical and expensive job. We can’t expect that the staff would be willing to find and purchase the UV lights on their own when they need replacing. Also, we already found and installed easy-to-maintain, EWH brand, and working bili lights. I thought it might be a cool idea if we converted the abandoned bili lights to an X-Ray reader by simply putting some type of shade over the lights and installing it in the wall. That will be another project for next week!